The news that Arizona Senator John McCain will return to Capitol Hill to cast his vote on the controversial healthcare bill looked like a sign in favor of the Republicans. However, the vote on Tuesday warranted no celebration. Senate Republicans suffered another blow.
The Healthcare Bill Fell Short of Votes
Senate Republicans presented an amended version of their healthcare bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act. The bill needed 6o votes to pass; the tally was 43 to 57. The fact that even an amended version of their bill could not garner the support of half the seats is a sign that there is still a lot of work for the Republicans to get the right formula.
Prospects were very good for the Senate Republicans when Senator John McCain announced his return to Congress despite his brain cancer diagnosis. He held a crucial vote on opening the debate over the future of the Republican healthcare bill that is set to replace Obamacare. Now, with only 43 GOP members backing the bill, the future looks grim for Republicans.
It was expected that Maine Senator Susan Collins would not back up the bill. She was joined by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and several other GOP members who did not approve of the new amendment. No Democrat voted for the bill.
Senator McCain expressed his disappointment in the divisions in his party, stating that they will accomplish nothing if this continues. He added:
I don’t think any of us feels very proud of our incapacity. Merely preventing your political opponents from doing what they want isn’t the most inspiring work.
Hard Days Ahead for Senate Republicans
It looks like hours of debate and further amendments await the Republicans now. Their failure to deliver their promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare has created confusion and anger from President Trump, who spent his recent days chastising his administration. Meanwhile, Democrats keep pushing against the bill. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated before the vote:
We know that A.C.A. is not perfect. But we also know what you’ve proposed is much worse. We can work together to improve health care in this country. Turn back now before it’s too late and millions and millions and millions of Americans are hurt so badly in ways from which they will never, ever recover.
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